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US Citizens Arrested As Part Of Suspected Mercenary Group Hired To Quell Protests In Haiti

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US Citizens Arrested As Part Of Suspected Mercenary Group Hired To Quell Protests In Haiti

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On February 17th, a group of 8 individuals, 5 of whom US citizens, carrying weapons were arrested in Haiti. Initial reports claimed that the group was comprised of 7 Americans and 1 Haitian.

However, Haitian Foreign Minister Bocchit Edmond confirmed that the group consists of 5 US citizens, 2 other foreigners and 1 Haitian citizen.

Haiti’s police chief, Michel-Ange Gédéon, told CNN the eight individuals are being held for possession of illegal weapons.

CNN also cited local authorities, who claimed the group was arrested on conspiracy charges, but the foreign minister did not provide a comment on the issue.

In an interview with CNN, Gédéon said the individuals arrested were in possession of automatic weapons, pistols, satellite phones and drones. Gédéon said the people were taken into custody while in suspicious cars without license plates.

The US State Department issued a statement Monday confirming arrests by the Haitian National Police of “a group of individuals, including some US citizens.”

“When US citizens are arrested overseas we seek Consular Access as soon as possible and provide appropriate Consular assistance as provided by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.”

On February 14th, the US State Department also issued a Level 4 “Do not travel” travel advisory for Haiti, citing “crime and civil unrest” and “widespread, violent, and unpredictable demonstrations in Port-au-Prince and elsewhere in Haiti.”

It also ordered all “non-emergency US personnel and their families” to leave Haiti, saying the country has “limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Haiti.”

“Protests, tire burning and road blockages are frequent and unpredictable,” the advisory stated.

“Violent crime, such as armed robbery, is common. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents, and emergency response, including ambulance service, is limited or non-existent.”

Haiti Info Project also reported that according to Popular Democratic Sector the arrested individuals are part of a team of mercenaries hired by Haitian President Moise Jovenel and working with USPGN to extinguish protests.

The twitter account also presumably got threatened after posting the report of the arrested alleged mercenaries.

One of the individuals is a Serbian citizen, and according to Haiti Info Project there is no Russian individual part of the group, despite some reports.

The twitter account also gave a stark comparison between how detainees who are foreigners and those are Haitian are treated by local authorities.

There were also pictures of some of the weapons and gear found in their possession.

Colonel Assad also reported that the individuals are connected to Kroeker Partners, a company that “builds operational and logistical capacity of security sector, rule of law, justice and governance related systems around the world.”

Finally, there are identification documents posted online at least for some of the members of the group:

US Citizens Arrested As Part Of Suspected Mercenary Group Hired To Quell Protests In Haiti

Click to see the full-size image

US Citizens Arrested As Part Of Suspected Mercenary Group Hired To Quell Protests In Haiti

Click to see the full-size image

US Citizens Arrested As Part Of Suspected Mercenary Group Hired To Quell Protests In Haiti

Click to see the full-size image

US Citizens Arrested As Part Of Suspected Mercenary Group Hired To Quell Protests In Haiti

Click to see the full-size image

US Citizens Arrested As Part Of Suspected Mercenary Group Hired To Quell Protests In Haiti

Click to see the full-size image

Since February 7th, thousands of people have been protesting in Haiti over soaring inflation and allegations of government corruption.

Opposition groups are demanding an investigation over claims that officials and former ministers misappropriated development funds from an oil deal signed between Caribbean countries and Venezuela.

Demonstrators have demanded the resignation of President Moise, in power since 2017.

He rejected the calls, saying he would not leave the country in the “hands of armed gangs and drug traffickers.”

There are on-going reports of excessive violence being used against the people. Protesters go to the streets against the “US puppet regime,” which the US is currently also potentially trying to instate in Venezuela.

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